Enhancing Conviction Integrity through Forensics


Achieving Justice: Countering Witness Intimidation through Forfeiture by Wrongdoing

Coordinated efforts by law enforcement, prosecutors, and advocates in the form of safety planning, expedited prosecution, victim safety education, and other strategies can reduce the opportunities for impactful intimidation, thereby increasing the likelihood that victims will feel comparatively safe testifying in court. Furthermore, prosecution strategies, from charging intimidation-related offenses to filing motions to admit out-of-court statements by victims who have been intimidated into silence, can increase the likelihood of conviction and the penal consequences for the intimidator. This presentation will include a brief review of the right to confrontation under Crawford and its progeny. It will also emphasize forfeiture by wrongdoing as a powerful tool to hold offenders accountable when witnesses are unavailable for trial due to the offender’s wrongful conduct.